Author Archive | Ludovic Leforestier

Friday tip: make conference calls invite great again

Robot phone IIAR websiteA little tip after being on one too many calls which was needlessly hard to join today.

You’ve all been there: you’re on a mobile phone (because you’re busy wrapping the previous call on your laptop) but the number is buried in the invite body. Then it is a US number, like 0808 800 0082, that doesn’t work for anyone not based in the country. And then you need to memorise a 9 digit passcode. Nine digits, what were they thinking about?

The good news is that there’s a fix. Continue Reading →

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How much are you worth? Introducing the IIAR Salary Survey

As a highly specialised profession, Analyst relations roles are notoriously hard to evaluate when it comes to compensation. They are often hard to find profiles, can report to different functions and thus bother recruiters and employers are often at pains to make the right call on salaries. In addition, expertise areas and their drivers are not often well understood -for instance whether analysts relation professionals manage research budgets, are the lead on one or several research firms, have a global remit, etc.

Sounds familiar? Continue Reading →

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Around Penny Jones / 451 in 10 Questions

Today we ask our probing questions of Penny Jones, (LinkedIn@PennyJones451)  Principal Analyst, MTDC & Managed Services at 451 Research.

IIAR

Penny Jones, 451

  1. What are your coverage areas?

    I cover the European multi-tenant datacenter (colocation – wholesale and retail) markets and hosting and managed services. I focus mostly on the business proposition of providers and geographic and other trends affecting these industries.

  2. What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?

    The market is evolving – and it needs to. The way technology is being consumed and delivered is changing rapidly, and in many cases, this means that the ways in which particular elements of the market are measured and reported on also need to adapt to reflect changing trends such as hybrid cloud, IoT, even external impacts such as Brexit and data regulations, etc. This includes my side of the market, where the days of being able to view colocation as a real estate play are long gone. Analyst firms and analysts will increasingly be required to alter the way they view markets as they continue to progress to answer the questions put forward by the IT industry, investors and others relying on insight into the market.

  3. What’s your typical day like?

    In my world, this isn’t such a thing as a typical day. One day could begin with a trip to City Airport to visit a client, tour a datacenter or conduct briefings in country. The next could start with yoga, a coffee, then writing of reports. The third day could start with an international inquiry call on the European market, or with my head down working on a deadline for an advisory report. Events such as Brexit, or the removal of Safe Harbour, or a large acquisition often require me to drop everything, focus on associated research while I sit back and wait for the phone to ring – because it inevitably will.

  4. Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?

    I am one of those people that prefer to be at the airport three hours prior to an international flight (ok, maybe 2 if leaving from City Airport or if I am only skipping over the Channel). Either way, any time I am at an event and AR books a car for me leaving only an hour to arrive and get to the gate is a horror story. I once got stuck in traffic heading to JFK and only made my flight because it happened to be half an hour delayed!

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 Around Renata Barros from Cisco in 10 questions

Logo IIAR AR Professional of the YearThe third winner of the IIAR Analyst Relations Professional of the Year 2017, for Latin America, Renata Barros / Cisco (@RenataBarros, LinkedIn) gives us some insights on how she rose to the challenge and sees influence in her region. Sorry, theatre.

1. What’s been your career path to becoming an AR pro?

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BREAKING: Gartner gobbles brand benchmarking agency

2017 is definitely a a tectonic year for influencer relations: after expanding to other functions with the CEB purchase, Gartner Gartner purchases L2Inc. (NYSE:IT) announced it bought L2, a brand benchmarking agency cum research company.

This further reinforces its capabilities in marketing and digital, a segment coveted by rival Forrester (NASDAQ:FORR).

As IT expenditure moves to business lines and to the marketing fiction of customer experience, this is a path also trodden by consultancies: the big four (Deloitte, EY, PwC, KPMG), IT players such as IBM and Accenture and the TWICH (Tech Mahindra, Wipro, Infosys, TCS, Cognizant, HCL) as well as regional players such as BearingPoint have all been buying digital agencies. This potentially brings Gartner’s mainstream RAS (Research Advisory Services) in competition with those service companies as well as specialists such as Sapient Nitro (Gartner consulting sometimes already competes with some of those players. Continue Reading →

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2017, a tectonic year for influencer relations?

This January feels like our IIAR April Fool posts came early. After Gartner gobbling the largest peer-to-peer advisory firm CEB (Corporate Advisory Firm) for a cool USD 3.3 billions (2.6b in cash and stock plus 700m debt), the long awaited and many times postponed sellout of IDG, the parent company of IDC, happened yesterday.

Gartner acquisitions: META, AMR, Burton, Ideas, Software Advice, Captera, SCM WorldThose two deals are nothing less than tectonic shifts in the tech influencers space.

Firstly, the acquisition of CEB by Gartner is notable for three reasons:

1. It’s large. 3 billion dollars gorilla like.
If there was no overlap and divestures (CEB also sells some software which Gartner will have to offload to prevent conflicts of interests), the combined turnover Gartner and CEB turnover would be over USD3.3 billions (2.4b+951m) we’re seeing a 40% increase in revenues and the combined entity is on course towards 2,000 analysts. The next players, IDC and Forrester are around USD 300m in revenues, give or take. The last estimates I saw (a while back mind you) were that Gartner has anywhere between 40 to 60% market share. Having such a dominant player means higher prices (some say higher margins were the driver behind Gartner’s acquisition of META Group) and less bargaining power for buyers. It’s also obviously hard to ignore Gartner, so a little advice to vendors is maybe not to pick fights with them -such is their share of mind with technology buyers.
However, just like in the old PCM days, Gartner knows to leave scraps to second fiddles and it leaves space to disruptors -in particular on the sell-side. The IIAR Analyst Firm of the Year constantly showed that 451, Constellation, HfS and other players are definitely more than just worth looking at. And as Crawford Del Prete argues it, a second opinion can be invaluable.
2. Is Gartner plateau’ing?
With the CEB acquisition, Gartner gets access to new C-suite roles. Surely, I’d bet most CEB CIO customers also buy Gartner services and so there might be a bit of customer set duplication however CEB also serves HR, Sales, Finance and Legal functions. In fact Gartner claims it will become the leading global research and advisory company for all major functions in the entreprise.
So this is not a META Group style margins-led competitive take-out (2005) but more an expansion into new markets just like in 2009 as Gartner bought AMR, SCM World and Burton to address techies and supply chain roles.
One could infer that after years of tinkering with metrics to get more leverage, the Gartner executive team saw territory expansion as an EPS growth lever. In other words, this might signal that Gartner’s core business in IT research is plateauing? Nevertheless, with Gartner’s excellent track record in execution (IIAR members can read some tips on contract negotiation here) and international reach, expanding to other functions certainly has legs. It has already ventured in marketing and claim good growth, however Forrester still has a much better hold with this fickle audience.
The good news here for AR and influencer relations folks is the ability to leverage existing relations with Gartner to look at other audiences.
 
3. Does the age of algorithm prediction also apply to Gartner?
Personally, I believe the most significant impact of this acquisition is cultural. After buying and developing no less than three peer reviews offerings Gartner is moving further in the peer to peer advisory world with CEB. This is important not only because buyers value the advice from their peers more than anyone else’s but also because all of a sudden, the mighty technology priest, the feared predicator, the revered oracle becomes is demoted from his/her ivory tower. Truth ceases to be a caste monopoly and becomes the product of algorithm. Gartner famously predicted in the 2015 Symposia the age of the algorithm economy, where those become valuable IP that needs cherishing and runs the world.
As Gartner grapples with the difficult challenge of embedding more bottom-up logic in its research and offerings, it will be interesting to watch what this does to the role of the analyst: will they merely curate and socialise the result of increasingly automated insights? Looking at the profitability of Gartner’s EXP services, this might well be a wet dreams for its execs.

Where does that leave IDC and the others?

Since the disparition of founder Pat McGovern and his philanthropic wish to progress research on the human brain, the media group IDG he founded -and parent of analyst firm IDC– was up for sale for two years with several cliffhangers. We know little of Chain Oceanwide, however my bet would be for a divestiture of IDC at some point.
Whilst IDC predominantly addresses tech vendors, it also enjoys a great brand recognition and probably has the best geographical reach of all firms but none. Yet, its attempts to crack the end-user (buy-side) research and advisory services (RAS) business petered out, I suppose due to poor execution and a lack of investment in sales and go-to-market.
We’ve asked IDC to come and update the IIAR members -stay tuned!
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Constellation and the curse of the quadrant

At the beginning, the intent was pure.Gartner Real Quadrant

Industry analysts, more specifically the buy-side “prescribers” exist to help technology buyers (often referred to as end-users) select the best vendors and providers. They gather insights through public and private sources such as (semi-)private vendor briefings and conversations (inquiries) with their end-user subscribers. Some analysts take hundreds of briefings and inquiries in a year, allowing them to gather unique insights on the market segments they cover. This accumulated knowledge allow them to monetise this information asymmetry as reports, consulting sessions, speaking engagements, etc.

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IIAR AR Professional of the Year 2016 profile: Peggy O’Neill

Peggy O'NeillPeggy O’Neill, Senior Director, Analyst Relations at Informatica,  (@pegoneillLinkedIn) is the IIAR AR Professional of the Year 2016 for North America. In this interview, she discloses a few best AR practices from her own shop.

  1. What’s been your career path to becoming an AR pro?
    I was a former analyst at Gartner and Nielsen/NetRatings and Oracle recruited me to head its analyst relations program in 2001.

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Don’t tell my mother I work in AR, she believes I’m a pianist…

DonttellmymotheriaminarWhilst public relations and marketing are mainstream in commercial companies, most analyst relations (AR) professionals are often at pain to describe their role.

AR is a relatively new discipline, tracing its origins in the last 15-20 years when a handful of very large ICT firms institutionalised a function to handle consultants and analysts relation. Nowadays all major technology vendors and services players have established sizeable analyst relations (AR) departments –50 to hundred strong for mega-vendors such as IBM or HP. Its raison d’être is to liaise with industry analysts, providing them a single point of contact and managing the relationship between them and the suppliers. Continue Reading →

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IIAR Analyst Professional of the Year 2016

The Institute of Industry Analyst Relations, the not-for-profit professional association established to raise awareness of analyst relations and the value of industry analysts, has announced the winners of the IIAR Analyst Professional of the Year 2016 and the IIAR AR Team of the Year 2016

IIAR AR Professional of the Year

London, Wednesday 6th July 2016. The survey looked at the analysts’ perception of how AR professionals are performing as a whole and compare it with results from the past, according to the ‘Three Rs’ of AR:

  • Responsiveness
  • Relationship
  • Results

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Meet the 2016 IIAR board

IIAR Logo SmallTo ensure continuity in the new year, the IIAR board opted to open two positions for 2016, to replace Debleena Paul and John Gallaher who both wished to step down.

The board would like to thank them for their support in 2015 and is looking forward to John and Debleena’s continued engagement.

Two candidates have stepped forward for those positions and therefore were confirmed immediately. From January, the new board for the next 12 months is presented below. Continue Reading →

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Who’s the IIAR Analyst of the Year 2015?

The IIAR mainframe has been humming… and the winners will be announced tomorrow ( 1st December 2015) at the IIAR Christmas Party in London.

Stay tuned…

AOTY

Past winners

The IIAR Analyst of The Year has been running since 2008, see below the past winners.

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IIAR Café @ Gartner Symposium Barcelona

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Will research crowdsourcing finally move analyst firms to an experience business model?

g2crowd_grid_for_help_deskg2crowd_grid_for_help_deskGood piece by Tony Bradley on TechSpective.net (via Rob Enderle and Stephen England) on whether crowdsourced analysis could displace Gartner, Forrester, IDC, etc.

I’ve been watching analysts for a long time and think this is fascinating -I was waiting for such a “JD Power of Tech” for a long time.

If they get it right, it will finally change the analyst business. Continue Reading →

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Wrap-up: Netscout vs. Gartner re. Magic Quadrant positioning

gartner[1]Two Three interesting takes on Netscout suing Gartner for not putting them in the leaders quadrant:

16/9/16 update: 

See also this 2009 post by Jonny Bentwood: Is shooting on the referee productive?

Bottom line:

  • The Gartner methodology is quite solid nowadays, however the firm is still expressing an opinion by the choices it makes on inclusion criteria and weightings for instance.

 

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In memory of Madan Sheina

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Madan Sheina, one of Ovum’s highly regarded Analysts, tragically passed away recently. Madan possessed a rare combination of talents which allowed him to become a world class analyst, respected manager, a generous collaborator, and a fierce ambassador for quality. He was also always great fun to be around. Everyone at Ovum will remember him in terms of the profound impact he had, and will continue to have, on our business, our research, and our clients.

In honour of his memory Ovum has set up a memorial fund. If you wish to contribute please follow this link to the memorial fund home page. All funds raised will go directly to Madan’s family.

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